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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Children > Action > TV > Clutch Cargo - Volume 1 (VCI)

Clutch Cargo – Volume One set (VCI)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Program:  B-



More people have probably at least seen a small clip from Clutch Cargo than realize.  The animated show began in 1959 and was actually featured during the scene with Christopher Walken and the watch story in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.  This was a show that was unlike anything else of its time and is still quite memorable even after all these years to some.


One innovation that the show utilized was by putting actors mouths inside the animation to make it seem like the animations were really talking and moving.  The effect seems so hokey now, but not back then.  The show’s main character Clutch Cargo was an adventurer who would fly his plane along with his dachshund Paddlefoot and friend Spinner, and sometimes his other pal Swampy to the next site of adventure and excitement. 


The show was unique in its format and in form as the episodes were only 4 minutes in length, but it took five of the shows to end a particular series.  The first four were cliffhangers and the final show wrapped up the story.  VCI has issued their Volume 1, which contains 9 total adventures, and each one as mentioned has 5 parts, so therefore a total of 45 4-minute segments and that equals 3 hours of fun! 


The installments include:


Pirate Isle

Twaddle in Africa

Air Race

Dynamite Fury

Water Wizards

Dragon Fly’s

Friendly Head Hunters

Race Car Mystery

Elephant Nappers


What you have to appreciate about the shows is their innovation by using a Synchro Vox system that allowed the creators to essentially place live-actors behind the animation, which by today’s standards seems to archaic, but this would set in motion so many possibility in animation and live action alone for years to come, just think about how often superimposed images are now used? 


The show is no doubt old and shows that, but for this DVD, presented in 1.33 X 1 full frame and in color, the show actually looks quite good.  It was better than what I had expected going in and colors are right on the money for the most part.  While detail comes and goes the picture remains fairly solid throughout and makes for an enjoyable experience.  Even the Dolby Digital mono is still in good tact to make the experience come together well.  The only extra is a lengthy (11 min.) trailer for VCI animation titles including this and also Popeye that is really cool.  Be sure to give this a look sometime in your life if you haven’t seen it before you will definitely never forget this one.



-   Nate Goss


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